Monday, October 9, 2023



We live in an age where being sentimental and sensitive has become passe, where cynicism seems to be more highly regarded.

This extends to the inspirational and emotional poetry of Edgar A Guest (1881 – 1959), a British-born American poet who became known as the People's Poet.

His poetry inspired wit Dorothy Parker to comment:
“I would rather fail my Wasserman test
Then read the poetry of Edgar A Guest.”

The Wasserman test was an antibody test for syphilis.

I have previously commented that I am not a great fan but, that said, I would rather inspiration than cynicism, positive thoughts instead of negative outlooks and kindness in place of a lack of generosity of spirit.

It is in that vein that today’s post consists of another poem by Edgar a Guest, which has inspired me to verse as well . . .

His poems my not be thought of as best,
Worse than a failed Wasserman test?
For all of their faults,
Their emotion and schmaltz
There’s a place for the poems of Guest.


Have You Earned Your Tomorrow

- Edgar A. Guest, 1916

Is anybody happier because you passed his way?
Does anyone remember that you spoke to him today?
This day is almost over, and its toiling time is through;
Is there anyone to utter now a kindly word of you?

Did you give a cheerful greeting to the friend who came along?
Or a churlish sort of "Howdy" and then vanish in the throng?
Were you selfish pure and simple as you rushed along the way,
Or is someone mighty grateful for a deed you did today?

Can you say tonight, in parting with the day that's slipping fast,
That you helped a single brother of the many that you passed?
Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said;
Does a man whose hopes were fading now with courage look ahead?

Did you waste the day, or lose it, was it well or sorely spent?
Did you leave a trail of kindness or a scar of discontent?
As you close your eyes in slumber do you think that God would say,
You have earned one more tomorrow by the work you did today?

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